Tag: fun painting

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Zen Brushstrokes I
Zen Brushstrokes II
Veiled

The Art of More with Less

Three paintings, on the surface they appear simple. Easy.

Maybe without the studied and contrived perfection we’re used to.

They have a type of non conformity that is in direct opposition to what “art is supposed to” look like. Or so, what many of us may have been told.

They are Abstracts.

Blurred, veiled and vague.

With many abstracts, we’re left uncertain as to the precise, exact subject. There is no definitive object… leaving some of us a little bit uncomfortable.

It’s the guessing. The wondering. Being in the dark, that we’re really uncomfortable with.

We like it all spelled out. Clear.

We are perhaps uneasy with the thought of guessing incorrectly.

Nor are we comfortable with the huge margin for error that these nonrepresentational paintings provide.

We are forced to use our intuition. To ‘feel’ the emotions from the painting and from ourselves. Once again, things many aren’t completely at ease with.

A little secret, a painting can be likened to a person. It should emote. You should, be able to sense what the prevailing mood is. It shouldn’t be as if it were a flat empty face/space.

 

Depth and Layers

The first image.

The brush was fully loaded with three colors and brazenly, swiftly, applied. The colors merge together and yet, we see each individual.

Connected, yet their own, individual entity.

I love that philosophy.

The remembered scene, a waterfall on the edges of Mount Rainier National Parks in Washington. The emerald and pine greens with the with frosted froth of the falls…. left an indelible impression.

So even though this painting is an abstract, it’s been distilled from my reality. My depth of experience.

 

Blue Lined Road

This second was such fun! Another acrylic, it had a bright neon orange base. Quite vibrating.

I’d decided to overpaint to neutralise the shocking orange to a low and subtle level. I used a four inch old house paint brush to apply the blue and buff in five brushstrokes.

Ie less is MORE.

I paused, considering colors, tones, and the placement of those five strokes. I wanted to convey depth, texture.

But also the feeling, the sense of “going” somewhere. That there was a path, a direction in which we could follow in our travels in this painting.

I think that was accomplished.

 

Inferred

The third image.

The subtle hints, the mystery of the layerings and veiled coloured edges – is beautiful.

I want to paint More,like this.

 

Looking at this last image Veiled, there really is a lot of movement and texture and topographic work going on.

One might need to look, that is to search into the crevices filled with the gold leaf dust, before the image’s true self starts to reveal itself as : the landscape.

The landscape, Australia.

On the surface, it appears flat.

Empty even. But when you dig deeper, and look closer, you discover it’s immense resources. And beauty.

 

That too is part of the More….. that I’m referring to.

 

 

 

 

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Revealing Brushstrokes, Blue and Orange

Revealing Brushstrokes, Blue and Orange

Bold blue, outspoken orange.  What drama and action is going on here.

Every brushstroke reveals to us …. more.

More depth, more energy, more movement.

 

 

Brushstrokes

 

They are a Language.

Words unspoken.

 

 

They’re a unique tool,  we artists can use to communicative… something.

Anything!

 

 

 

revealing brushstrokes, dynamic abstract paintings in blue and orange, how one stroke can tell us so much, debiriley.com
revealing brushstrokes, acrylics

 

Blue and Orange

 

Each stroke laden with paint,  is telling.

 

Nature inspired,  this  painting is made more effective with its use of the minimalist color palette.

Blue and Orange.

This Complementary Pairing is my favorite of the three pairs:  Red/Green   Yellow/Purple  Blue/Orange

 

 

 

 

Inspired by the Western Australian landscape,  I wanted to impart the subject essence the colors on the brush would provide.

Not the rocks, nor the trees.

Or even the stark cobalt blue sky we see so often.

 

It was intended to be,  abstract.

 

 

 

Distilling a Vision

One could imagine,  the true masters,   the likes of Fred Williams, John Olsen or Robert Juniper, perhaps Pro Hart.

Taking in the land, and then distilling it.

 

 

 

Laying it out before us, on their canvases,  in wide swathes of brushstrokes, dollops and smearings of paint.

 

Utterly and completely their’s alone.

Their interpretation of what they heard and saw and felt.

 

Out there, amongst the silence  – that is not silent-  of the bushland wilds.

 

 

 

 

From The Sea to Watercolors and, Beyond

From The Sea to Watercolors and, Beyond

The Sea and its aqua tinted beaches, is a place of inspiration for most of us.  And whether we are physically there or not, we can enjoy the sense of  ‘being’ there.

We can go  beyond the limitations of having to actually be somewhere to reap the benefits.

 

watercolors and the sea, abstract sea paintings, blue watercolors, ocean theme art, debiriley.com
from The Sea, watercolors and Beyond

The Sea

From the beaches south, down near Albany,  Western Australia.

 

The sea colors are magical.

The red orange terracotta boulders give it warmth and life.

The buff titanium sands shimmer in the sunlight.

 

I adore this place, this photo.

I ‘feel’ it, every time.  I’m re-Inspired by its memory every time I look at it.

 

What’s not to love?… and how could it not be etched into my memory?

 

 

I was there for awhile.  Taking it all in.  Taking hundreds of snippets and snapshots.

Becoming immersed.

So even if,  I lost the photos,  even if I no longer had tangible references to look at my mind … remembers.

All the feelings.

The colors.  The wind.  The textures. The sand shimmering and the sun sparking on the water.

 

 

 

Watercolors of the Sea

It is all those things,  that is what I most need in order to convey the feeling of the Sea to Watercolors.

 

Thats all I need,  to communicate the message I felt while walking along the shores and climbing the dunes and rocks.

 

Its about….  feeling.

Not documenting or recording detail.

 

Its about the Heart of the place for me.

Not dotting the i  nor crossing the t.

 

 

 

Beyond

We can travel in our minds, or perhaps through past memories of the location.

We can travel using our wonderful imaginations and yes,  we’re still getting the benefits of the journey.

Of being inspired.

 

Its true too, I believe that as we watch the news, television, or read travel magazines, look at Pinterest travel shots, and of course  Google ….  we can become enthused.

Eager and keen to create,  to communicate that feeling of joy or relaxation we may have felt as we looked at a place.

 

I’ve mentioned before, I’m a firm believer in painting plein air.

Nothing can convey the spirit, the essence of that place and your joy,  like this approach.

 

However, not all of us, are able to hike up into the high Rockies. I certainly am not able.

Nor drive to the eastern seaboard to paint along the stunning autumn colored shores of Maine.

Let alone fly to Australia to paint the colors of the The Indian Ocean, or the Great Barrier Reef.

 

We do have finite resources and limitations at times.

I think if,  I fell in love with a location I could never go to but was compelled to paint  –   I’d research it.

I’d study up and learn all I could about the location and its history,  culture,  people.

In this way, there would be some,  sense of connection  that transferred over into the painting as I worked.

 

 

 

Watercolor art

Wild and so unruly.

 

The Sea Foam photograph below the watercolor,   proves to be a great inspirational resource.

Something to refer to.

To look at the warm rocks, and the white foam as it swirls in intriguing patterns.

To note the deep dark patch of blue, then see how it fades into paler softer blues.

 

To figure out ways, we might choose to do some of those things in watercolor…. in a creatively similar fashion.

 

 

Finally

As artists what we do is important.

We travel and journey.

We see.

We feel.

We communicate to others the wonderment  of what we felt as we paused and  ‘saw.’

 

It is a fascinating way to create.

Its personal.

The artist reveals his soul in his art, in this fashion.

 

To interpret the scene in its complexities of feeling, emotive qualities.

This is something we all too often, forget to do in our bid to ensure the details are   just right.   

 

Remember…. if we get the feeling right,   hardly anyone is going to care about some minor details!

 

 

watercolor sea inspired abstracts, using nature to paint from creatively, paint with passion and color, debiriley.com
watercolor students – sea inspired

 

sea foam turquoise photograph, water photo, debiriley.com
from the sea, inspirations  to  get ideas from….    and go Beyond!

 

 

Take your images, your inspirations and memories from the sea … and then,   go  Beyond!  

 

 

 

 

Fred Williams   master 

John Olsen a timeless land

Imagination 

Sea and Ocean 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Short and quick today.

Observing how water can be painted using watercolors.

 

 

Painting Water

In the samples shown,  I’ve created the impression, the illusion of water on paper.

Cobalt teal blue in watercolor helps, of course.

But, so does understanding the tones, the feeling, mood, and which of the common techniques to use.

 

 

watercolor techniques for water, beginners watercolour secrets for water, debiriley.com
Techniques for painting water: watercolors

 

 

We learn as we go.

Practice… repetition until a technique process becomes second nature, was the secret key to my own improvement.

 

 

Using dry brush, washes, charging, splatter, leaving White of the paper… they all combine to help with the illusion.

In the first demo,  you see a background a mid ground and foreground, along with a focal point.  These help guide the viewer and make the image understandable.

 

Whereas in the second demo, a mere wash of a couple colors,  we must engage more.  There is still enough information, but its less tight and structured.

More free flowing and carefree.  Perhaps, in holiday mode!   But you will observe more warmth in front, the White cresting wave in nearby, and there isn’t much action in the back.

Our minds, have decided yes, it is water we are looking at. And,  Most likely, the beach.

We’re good to go.

 

 

follow up posts

watercolor beginner basics 

11 fun water techniques 

watercolor easy techniques 

depth   via splatter

depth 

tonal value   Into the Light

 

 

How Much Do You Paint?

How Much Do You Paint?

“No, I don’t really paint, as much as I used to do, ”  was my response the other day.

I wished I’d had a camera to capture all those expressions from my group, right then!   You could see a million things running through their minds.

Shock.  Say it isn’t so. How is that, possible?   But….

 

Paint Time

It is true.  I don’t “paint”  anywhere near the amount like I did 10, 20 years ago.

Or even 5-6 years ago.

I was insanely prolific.

 

watercolors the impressionist approach, painting day, debiriley.com
fun, free, Letting Go painting day:   several “on the go”

I’d get my paints out and think nothing about whacking out 5, 10, 15 images in one sitting.

There could be 100 images in a week.

No,  definitely not all of them worked out.

That’s alright.

 

I learned things.

 

 

 

When I step back after a painting day, I think about the numbers,  the percentages.

What %  of 100  is an acceptable number for me?

I liken it to baseball stats.  Or to  photography stats, or even … to sales. How many times must I do something before I hit a home run?

Why should I think, to hold myself to an even higher standard,  than say,  those big hitters …. Babe Ruth – Hank Aaron – Ken Griffey?

 

It was and is  about the process.

Expressing the moods and emotions,  that which was within,  and externalising it.

 

And if one of those images was presentable, as a whole, I’d smile.  Even if none of them, were fantastic, I’d still smile.

As the process was and is what  drives me.

 

The need to communicate, to externalise,  the primary driver.    (Most of the time.)

I just enjoy paint, color, the physical act of creating.

 

 

Art Definitions

What changed?

Why am I not painting 100 per week now?

 

I have slowly changed my ideas about art, about what ‘art’ means to me.

 

What defines art, to me?

Art now means much more than just a paint brush and paints.

 

 

Art takes so many forms.

And I enjoy art every day. In one form, or another.

 

Sometimes I go into my garden to pause and reflect on the colors, aromas, the sounds that it brings.

creative photography, nature flower abstract photo, debiriley.com
dreams in the garden – just sitting

 

 

Other times I write.  Or photograph, or draw or, doodle.

This. Is art.

 

I’ve come to think of my art classes, the curriculum and lessons as a form of art in itself as well.  It often involves research of new methods and new tools; of the masters that are relevant to the specific group I’m currently teaching.

iphone 5 photos, glass bottles mini minarets, debiriley.com
glass minarets …class subject to paint        “at work”

My work… has become,  in a sense another form of art.

 

 

A Changed Lane

I could, indeed feel bad or guilty about not painting like I used to.

But I am,  still creating.

 

Still Inventing.

Looking around the corners for new shapes, subjects, colors, ideas.

I haven’t stopped, nor has this slowed down one bit.

Not at all.

 

It merely has changed lanes.

I’m Still going in the same direction….

The laneway is slightly different.  Thats all.

 

 

I think we are quick to judge ourselves many times too harshly, without need.

When asked that question about not painting as much now….  at first, I mentally was judging myself.

 

But I like to take the time to discover the  ‘why’  of a thing.

To dig for the answers.

Because I find in most cases, the root truthful answer, is far less troublesome than the surface answer, the one we assume to be the case.

 

 

 

So even though I’m not putting out 20- 50-100 images a week now;  I am still just as active, just as creatively engaged as I have been at any time in the past.

Its good that I took the time to dig.

Finding the answers to nagging ‘background’ questions –  sets us free to Create.

 

Releasing constraints and criticisms, ie  negativity  that would impinge upon our  future creative endeavors.

 

 

 

Art, is funny like that.

Most of us work better, do better, Create better,  in a positive, uplifting, and free environment.

 

 

Fun and Fast  Watercolor  Landscape

A Simple Impressionist Landscape created from a positive and free mindspace.

Done directly upon coming in from my Garden sitting. I felt positive, uplifted,  liberated….

 

True, it was on not nice,  cartridge paper that soaked in the paint and left marks of the brushstrokes visible.

Unliftable. Permanent marks upon the surface.

 

But this made it,  liberating.

It was either going to work or … not.  So why bother to over think it?!

 

I felt free to do what was needed, to put down,  what needed to be expressed.

 

Faint pale hints of sky, then several strokes of blue for hills and mountains.

Ooops…  oh well!     hmmmm   – boo boos there.

 

Next,  went in some gentler  cool browns to serve as a transition area, just dashed in, real quick.

 

And then,

the super fun part.

 

Splattering warm siennas, moss greens, golden umbers across the stark white foreground.

Now, that was fun.

 

mountain landscape easy and fun for beginner painters, watercolor beginner techniques, hills, mountains foreground watercolour, splatter, debiriley.com
blue mt splatter foreground   –   cropped  section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color of Imagination…. Purple 9

Color of Imagination…. Purple 9

So much fun to be had with the color purple.

Our imaginations take flight more so, with this one magic and mysterious color.

And, at last,  the left brain….takes a seat.

 

“What,  IF….”  is the dominant theme with 9  “purple, violet, magenta, lilac, lavender”  images below.

No rules, just play.

 

 

watercolor test color swatch, daniel smith amethyst, watercolour purples, creative art techniques, debiriley.com
purple test strip  – its a great way to warm up

 

Magic of Purple Paints

I love that there’s an infinite amount of Purple subjects to work with:  flowers, hills and mountains,  ponds and fanciful shadows… with an endless variation of warms and cools, lights and darks.

 

Purple is the color of magic. Of freedom.

Of mystery, of the arts, of creativity, of the archane.

It is a liberating color to use.

 

Don’t let any preconceived ideas and thoughts about ‘purple’ sway you.

Thoughts of  wishy washy faded wallflowers and pale shrinking violets;  or stroppy, SHOUTY purples;  or even the dreaded  “grandma purples.”

Ignore those thoughts.

 

You want New Ideas!

 

 

So,  allow yourself to play, for awhile.

To be free and imaginative, with the color purple. 

 

 

Thats enough talk.  Enjoy the 9 images!

 

 

 

creative imaginative art techniques, use purple paints, debiriley.com
shadows, purple background

 

 

purple rose photograph, debiriley.com
purple rose  – a great source of painting inspiration!

 

 

inspiration of nature flowers, purple rose photograph, debiriley.com
inspired by purple roses

 

 

watercolor with a palette knife, amethyst daniel smith paint, debiriley.com
amethyst with palette knife:   creatively, a Vertical format

 

 

lily pond in deep purple, nature photography, cool palette blue green and lavender, debiriley.com
Deep Purple and Blue – a pond, a little bit of magic

 

watercolor landscapes tree reflections, painting morning on the water using watercolors, creating mood with paint, debiriley.com
Serenity with Watercolors…  calming lilac and lavenders

 

 

 

shadows of violets, purples, painting, debiriley.com
Mysteries in dark violets and purples  – this is a bit of glad wrap technique

 

 

 

 

impressionist landscape mountains and water, purple lavender, cobalt teal blue waters painting, debiriley.com
Impressionist Landscape: Purples and Teal Waters  … debiriley.com (c) 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobalt Teal Blue: Stages of Art

Cobalt Teal Blue: Stages of Art

 

“We arrive totally new

at the various stages of life and

there we often lack experience

despite the number of our years.”

Francoise de La Rochefoucauld VI  1613  French writer

 

cobalt teal blue abstract, la rochefoucauld quote, debiriley.com
Stage One  Cobalt Teal Blue Abstract

 

In Stages

I think his quote sums up our experience with painting, art, as well.

 

Every time we think we attain a new level, get to the next stage, we discover ourselves beginners all over again.

 

Beginners don’t realise that this is ‘just what happens.’

Often as Beginners, we believe the journey will be smooth sailing, once we learn the basics.

That the there won’t be much more mystery, or challenges, or setbacks after that.

 

 

Those who have been at it longer, know differently.  Know the drill.

Because, as long as our innate artistic curiosity remains,  there will be challenges.

 

We have been down the path enough times before not to be overly discouraged.

 

We know…. to wait it out.

To work it out.

abstract blues, cobalt teal blue painting, debiriley.com
Stage Two

 

 

La Rochefoucauld

I chose La Rochefoucauld to quote from today, for two reasons.

The quote content suited the post and image, firstly.

 

Secondly, he isn’t one of the most well known writers people have read about.

But, he has so many quotes, maxims that are valuable gems.

Just as applicable in 2018 as they were in the 1600’s.

 

And Art, is about discoveries.

About curiosity that is never ending.

 

 

reference for painting abstract of water, debiriley.com
original reference photo

 

The springboard, the origins of the painting came from the photo of water in green blue.

Not really a magnificent specimen on its own.

However, it does not need to be.

 

The reference sources only need to Inspire.

To ignite within the artist a desire to create something more, something going Beyond that initial photo.

 

 

Abstract Art

As an abstract, it need not Be anything.

It doesn’t have to represent a boat, house, flower, lake, ocean, etc.

Its non-representational.

 

abstract expressionism, acrylic painting on canvas, debiriley.com
The Pond,  Abstract 

 

If,  a painting was Semi-Abstract then,  we would be able to discern perhaps that an area might be a sky shape.

Another shape, could infer a shrouded figure, or a boat out upon misty waters.  This, is what a Semi Abstract painting is.

 

Lunar Black, Quincacridone Sienna, Daniel Smith watercolors, debiriley.com
Smoke and Fire  – semi abstraction

 

Impressionist, we can detect straight away that something is a flower, a tree, car, cup, etc.

Maybe not, the exact precise street address of the place.

More the mood and feeling of the place or person though.

Autumn Color watercolor landscape, how to fix a watercolor painting, fall tree colors, debiriley.com
moods of autumn watercolor & pastel landscape:  Society6 shop

 

Botanical art is very precise.  We will know what type of flower it is, the species, etc.

The measurements, the ratios, will all be correct.

Everything leaves, petals, stamens, roots, etc. will be exact in their detail.

 

 

 

Abstract cobalt teal #9 

Abstract art  – A Definition 

Cobalt Teal Sea Sirens